posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 05:21 AM
Lockheed Martin has unveiled plans to demonstrate a “persistent surveillance” hybrid cruise missile/unmanned air vehicle next year. Named Top
Cover, the air-launched, forward-swept-wing design will have an endurance of over 24h at altitudes around 5,000ft (1,500m) and is intended to operate
as a cruise missile, lethal UAV or disposable surveillance UAV.
The Top Cover persistent surveillance UAV is being developed as Lockheed’s bid for the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s Area Dominance Programme
advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD). Sensor options include ground moving-target indication radar, infrared and electro-optical cameras,
acoustic sensors and signals intelligence arrays. Various warhead options are also being considered, including directed energy systems. Combined
warhead and sensor payloads could be carried by the same vehicle, or mixed operations conducted using swarms of warhead- and sensor-equipped systems
to locate, identify and engage targets.
The vehicle will weigh 200kg, including a maximum 20kg payload, with its wings folding forward against the fuselage in carriage mode before deploying
on release from a host aircraft. It will be powered by a single turbofan engine. Its planned unit cost of around $200,000 will allow it to be treated
as expendable, says Jim Pappafotis, director of advanced programmes at Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control.
Read the full article
Sound cool ... a kamikaze
India too have a similar UAV cum cruise missile system in service called Lakshya